The Cleveland Cavaliers couldn’t find a trade for Andre Drummond at the deadline on Thursday, so they decided to buy him out. That move became official Friday, meaning he will lift waivers in the next 48 hours and enter free duty as long as no team claims his $ 28.7 million contract.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, it doesn’t sound like that is happening.
– Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 26, 2021
Drummond is expected to meet the Lakers, as well as the New York Knicks, LA Clippers, Boston Celtics and Charlotte Hornets, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes said.
But ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday – before Drummond’s buyout was even agreed – that the recruiting of Lakers players had already begun (h / t @pickuphoop
“They are now really focused on Andre Drummond. I know the Laker players have tried to recruit him for LA There is certainly an opportunity for him to step in right away and become the starting center there. That Lakers team missed the rim protector and how hard it was getting to the basket and getting into the spotlight with Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee. It’s been a lot easier this year with Gasol and Montrezl Harrell, which is why Drummond gives them that dimension. “
I already got the bigger picture of what Drummond would bring to the Lakers yesterday – mainly its historically good rebounding and being big – so I won’t be repeating that too much. But Woj’s analysis is worth including because he’s as knowledgeable as insiders come, so when he says this, it probably stems from conversations he’s had with people who know what the Lakers are looking for. So while you or I can point out that Drummond’s rim protection isn’t as good as its reputation suggests, the Lakers seem to see things differently.
And from all the whispers and insider reports, it certainly looks like the Lakers Drummond is offering the starting center runway. In that case, it’s worth noting that the numbers don’t really say Drummond is a huge improvement over Gasol defensively, so we need to be prepared for that.
Within three feet of the edge, Drummond has allowed opponents to shoot 55.1% this season, which is 7.9% below their average, according to NBA.com. In the same area, Gasol has held opponents up to 56.6%, down 4.8% from their average. Meanwhile, in that range, Gasol has allowed slightly fewer tries (5.4) than Drummond (6.1). There is clearly a larger team context that those individual numbers cannot explain – mainly that the Lakers are clearly a much better defensive team than the Cavaliers – but Gasol has been part of that defense, and there is reason to believe that Drummond that is. no huge improvement there.
Still, perhaps the Lakers could get more out of Drummond than the Cavaliers, and between their purchases in Montrezl Harrell, they reported disappointment in Gasol’s game and their signing of Damian Jones to two 10-day contracts to see what an athletics center would do. look with this selection, it’s pretty clear that the Lakers want to have at least a different look where they can go in the middle. Whether Drummond is the answer or not, with two roster spots open, he’s worth at least a flyer as this team tries to load up for their playoff run.
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